Wednesday, October 21, 2009


We're into the transition season now: a bit of brrrr in the night requiring an extra blanket on the bed; a sweater worn on the evening stroll with the dogs; a day of constant precipitation is followed by one where all three volcanoes remain despejados into the late afternoon; a group of kids out on the cancha with their oversized kites.

On some recent evenings it has seemed to us that there were different weather systems operating over the east and west sides of the valley, and at times the last vestiges of invierno have appeared to have been thrashing around with an electric intensity as if unexpectedly trapped by the retreating sun in the U-shaped gap between Agua and Fuego.

It's often colder here around Christmas than it is in London; on the clearer nights at least. Once the cloud cover goes, January temperatures in Antigua tend to fall to near freezing. Winters adopt a rather desultory theme back home, but the Gulf Stream used to protect us from the worst of the continental chill.

I wonder whether the coming dry season will be as wet as the wet season was dry. For the first time this year the wooden doors around our patio didn't swell up with the ambient mositure to the point that they became harder to open and shut.

Having said that, the wet season has certainly concluded with a bit of a flourish, and I've found myself wiping the condensation off the kitchen windows several times in the past couple of weeks.

I have one of the tallest private houses in town with what — I like to tell myself — is surely the highest terrace of them all. I have to say that I can't provide any conclusive evidence to justify this, other than to praise its unobstructed view from San Juan to the Papelio.

From up there I can see people and things that appear not to realise that they are being seen, such as the Police Station interior and a man we have dubbed 'fake blind guy' or FBG for short. FBG wanders up and down our street regularly, sometimes right down the middle with his long white stick...intent, one might think, on bringing as many cars as possible to a standstill around him.

When he thinks nobody is watching, he twirls his stick like Gene Kelly (....or a batonista parading on September 15.) V has even spotted him surreptitiously lowering his dark specs to inspect the flow of water beside the kerb outside the front gate of one of our neighbours.

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